Steve: 9:08pm - Kristi is ready to post and mistakingly allows me, Steve, to "editorialize" the post. For those of you playing the home game that means I'm going to take the serious and make it silly.
Kristi: This afternoon, around 4:30 p.m., the boy (Benjamin, not the adoptee) and I were calmly preparing smoothies for breakfast while the girls jumped on the trampoline. My phone buzzed, and I glanced quickly, barely caring what the message was, until I saw that it was from our caseworker at Madison. The subject line, in all capital letters read PRE-APPROVAL! I screamed.
Wasn't it just Monday evening that she told us this could take a few weeks?
It's now Wednesday, scarcely two days later ...
Maybe this was bad news...
I trembled as I unlocked the phone, with Benj staring at me, wide eyed. I scanned the email quickly and our caseworker's parting words swam into my vision ...
"What will you name your son?"
Steve: I've occasionally thought to myself, "What if we auctioned naming rights to he boy?" but that sort of (ok totally) cheapens the whole endeavor. Chances are the winning bid would go to makeamericadrumpfagain.com or something equally ridiculous.
Kristi I looked at my yogurt covered 6 year old in the face and said, "Benj, he's ours." Ben's big eyes grew to saucers. He JUMPED down from the barstools, raced outside and screamed, "Girls, Girls, WE GOT HIM!!" I heard their screams from the kitchen, amidst my happy tears.
"What will you name your son?"
We already had. We had named him in faith. We have been actively calling him Joshua.
Joshua Timothy Van Dyk.
Steve: Hopefully he doesn't mind not being called Judd...
Kristi: Joshua. Our son's given Chinese name incorporates "Hua" and that is what he has been called since birth. We wanted, if at all possible, to honor that. Kayleigh suggested the English name Joshua. And since each of our precious treasures has a name of significance (thanks for burning that into me, Mr. Cochrane of 10A), I consulted the meaning of the name Joshua.
"Jehovah is generous. Jehovah saves."
This journey has been about God's generosity; His willingness to give to us over and above what we require. We are aware that it is God's love that saved all of us, and we trust our son will believe that too someday.
Joshua. A biblical figure who was challenged by God to do something utterly preposterous. He was told to march around a well fortified city and trust that somehow, when horns were blown, the city walls would fall. Joshua took what looked like an incredible risk. He lead a nation into the unknown ... And Joshua did it all to bring glory to his heavenly father. The more we thought about this name the more we were certain our son was a Joshua.
(We also did a quickly mental check - residual of my days as a teacher - and found at least one incredible Joshua, who is presently a part of our lives, and this confirmed the suitability of the name).
Steve: Though his love of Cleveland sports is a bit unnerving. At least he married up.
Kristi: Timothy. Timothy is my father's name and representative of great biblical heritage and significance. I pray that some day, with the Lord's guidance, our Joshua Timothy will incorporate many of the traits I value in my father. I pray he has a growing heart of compassion for missions (passed down from my grandma); I pray he learns to love others and speak the truth. I pray his faith is unwavering inspite of many who may challenge him or doubt his capability as a leader.
In addition to naming our son, with the PA status achieved, we are free to share a couple of photos of Joshua with our followers and friends. We trust these images will capture your heart - as they did ours. We hope you'll continue to keep our family in your prayers. The receipt of a pre-approval gives us a firm deadline. We must have our dossier logged in to China by November 21, 2016.
Please pray that we experience God's continued favor and that our process is continually surrendered to him. Please join us in thanking God - and marveling at His indescribable provision. Truly this journey has been the type that forces us to our knees, with fear and trembling, speechless before the one who is in all and through all.
Humbly His - and for His continued fame,
Steve, Kristi, Kayleigh, Benjamin, Madeleine and Joshua (I'm the kind of guy who's comfortable in pink) Van Dyk